Skip to main content
Xi Jinping’s Two-Track Foreign Policy
Chinese President Xi Jinping attends the ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of the return of Macau to China on December 20, 2019, in Macau, China. (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Xi Jinping’s Two-Track Foreign Policy

Walter Russell Mead

Xi Jinping stunned the world over the weekend. The Chinese leader’s Oct. 9 speech left no doubt about his commitment to the ultimate incorporation of Taiwan into the People’s Republic of China. But it was what President Xi didn’t say, and the context in which he didn’t say it, that mattered most.

Tension over Taiwan has been mounting for months. In a major speech commemorating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party, delivered in Tiananmen Square in July, Mr. Xi promised to “utterly defeat” any attempt toward Taiwanese independence. In a letter congratulating Eric Chu on his election as leader of Taiwan’s main opposition party, Mr. Xi called the situation on the island “complex and grim.” Over the weekend of China’s Oct. 1 National Day, a record 149 Beijing military aircraft crossed into the island’s air-defense identification zone.

The reasons for Beijing’s ire aren’t hard to find. Weeks after Australia helped form the Aukus partnership, former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott paid a visit to Taiwan. A French senator visiting the island called Taiwan a country. Japan’s incoming prime minister announced that longtime pro-Taiwan politician Nobuo Kishi will keep the defense portfolio in the new government. This month, a large Taiwanese delegation is scheduled to visit Eastern and Central Europe, where Lithuania has drawn Beijing’s ire by allowing Taiwan to open a diplomatic office. A recent six-nation joint naval exercise in the Philippine Sea was intended to signal growing allied resolve.

Read the full article in the Wall Street Journal

Related Articles

The US Needs a Hypersonic Capability Now

Arthur Herman

Eighty years ago, imperial Japan used a technology first developed by the U.S. and the U.K.—carrier-based bombing and torpedo attacks—to cripple t...

Continue Reading

America’s Enemies Fill the Vacuum She Leaves Abroad

Seth Cropsey & Harry Halem

President Biden’s meeting with Xi Jinping on November 15 shifted media attention from COP26 back to great-power politics, but a more subtle, yet per...

Continue Reading

The Diminishing Path to Growth: Can Xi Jinping Avoid Crisis during China's Economic Transition

Thomas J. Duesterberg

Since Deng Xiaoping changed the trajectory of Chinese economic policy in 1978, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has amassed an impressive record...

Continue Reading